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Morning tip: No plays? No problem for Jarrid Famous


Morning tip: No plays? No problem for Jarrid Famous

LAS VEGAS -- Jarrid Famous, an undrafted free-agent center from South Florida who is playing for the Wizards at summer league, has gradually made his presence felt. After their first victory Tuesday following two terrible losses to open tournament play, Famous has remained a constant.

"It's funny, I told Jarrid before the game, 'Jarrid, I run no plays for you. Literally I run no plays. And you always find ways to affect the game,'" assistant coach Roy Rogers, who was at the helm for the 85-79 win vs. the Dallas Mavericks when Famous had 16 points and nine rebounds. "We try to keep encouraging him to keep going to the glass, keep setting screens, keep rolling because he does all the dirty things that don't show up that give us an opportunity to win."

All summer league statistics should be regarded with caution because the fact is, like D-League numbers, they don't necessarily mean anything. The competition is smaller, not as physical or as fast as the NBA itself. Most summer league players won't play a day in the big league, but what it can mean is Famous getting a serious look for training camps that start in September. When the Wizards had Khem Birch last summer, his performance earned him a spot at camp with the Miami Heat though he didn't stick. 

The NBA is going smaller, using three-point shooting power forwards and three-guard lineups. But rebounders, many of whom can be had for cheap initially, are needed to clean up the mess and get extra shots. They, too, can command star-like salaries. Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers recently turned down $52 million and probably will get significantly more this summer.


"I just go out there giving it my all, effort and stuff like that," said Famous, who is averaging 15.6 points and 10 rebounds in three summer league games. "As far as running plays, I don't need that. I just go out there and given energy and play hard. It'll all pan out in the end. 

"It's not really stressful to be here. It's a blessing to play at a high level. ... I don't believe in stress. It's all good. ... I know my role is to rebound, set hard screens, run the floor and just be active every play. Don't take a play off."

The Wizards still are in good position to make another move. They have the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts for the 2015-16 regular season so there's no room. However, they could in theory release DeJuan Blair, who had a dismal inaugural season with the Wizards as a backup center, pay him his guaranteed money, and acquire an undrafted big man like Famous for the rookie minimum and still avoid the luxury tax threshold. 

Of course, another team with more cap room could be able to offer more. Just because Famous plays for the Wizards at summer league, there are no strings attached to him. The same goes for every other player here without a deal other than a summer contract. 

For Famous, the important thing is he knows his identity. He came out of school in 2011 and has bounced around four different D-League teams. In this summer league run, he has had 21 points for the Wizards on seven shots, 10 points on five shots and 16 points on 12 shots. 

"In college, I really didn't know who I was. One day I wanted to be LeBron James, score all the points," Famous said. "Next day I wanted to be a rebounder. It was a lot of flip-flopping, going through the process, let me know who I am as a player and I just worked on that. Now, it's showing out."

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is here with the annual showcase set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)



Coach: Dwane Casey, Raptors
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Kyrie Irving, Celtics
Anthony Davis, Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs
Bradley Beal, Wizards
Goran Dragic, Heat
Andre Drummond, Pistons
Paul George, Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Kemba Walker, Hornets


Coach: Mike D'Antoni, Rockets
Stephen Curry, Warriors
James Harden, Rockets
Joel Embiid, 76ers
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Warriors
Klay Thompson, Warriors
Al Horford, Celtics
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Raptors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves


Three things to watch...

New format

The NBA switched it up this season by doing away with the traditional matchup between the East and West. The teams were instead chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two top vote-getters in All-Star fan voting. The idea was to breath new life into the All-Star Game and hopefully make it more competitive. The league also installed a system where the winners each get $100,000, $75,000 more than the losing team. 

All pro sports leagues struggle drawing interest with their All-Star showcases. They are always trying to get ratings up and this is the latest ploy by the NBA. The new format is definitely intriguing, but whether it will have a major impact on the competition itself is hard to tell. We'll see how the fans respond.


Reunion time

The teams picked by James and Curry will give fans some throwback combinations with former teammates back together again. Team LeBron is full of them. James will reunite with Kyrie Irving, who essentially forced his way out of Cleveland over the summer after the two combined to reach three straight NBA Finals and win one title.

We will also see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play together again. They of course teamed up to win a lot of games with the Oklahoma City Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors. Westbrook will also be reunited with Victor Oladipo, who was traded from OKC to the Pacers over the summer.


Beal's All-Star debut

Wizards fans will of course be focused on Bradley Beal, who is making his first All-Star appearance. He is Washington's lone representative, as John Wall is still recovering from left knee surgery.

Beal may not get many minutes on a stacked roster of guys who have been in the game before. If that happens, it's probably for the best. Beal is currently fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. He needs the rest if he can get it.


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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

It was a short night for Wizards guard Bradley Beal in the 2018 All-Star three-point contest on Saturday, as he was eliminated in the first round.

Wearing the Wizards' new 'The District' white alternate jersey, Beal shot a 15 and fell short of the top three spots to qualify for the second round. Suns guard Devin Booker won the contest with a 28 score in the final, beating out Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.


Beal's was undone by a slow start. He missed all five shots on the first rack and made just one on the second. He began to heat up at the third rack, but by then couldn't recover.

Here is Beal's full round:

This was Beal's second showing in the three-point contest. He finished second back in 2014 and this year said he was motivated to avenge that loss. He should have plenty more opportunities to participate in the future if he chooses.

The NBA's All-Star Saturday night began with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie winning the skills competition. He beat Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen in the final round.

Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest. He edged Larry Nance, Jr. of the Cavaliers in the finals.